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HomeSciencePhysicsFoot Functionality Elucidated

Foot Functionality Elucidated

• Physics 15, s164

When people stroll, our ft act as levers moderately than touchdown pads as beforehand thought.

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Running on two legs is extra environment friendly than galloping on 4. It can be sustained for longer, so scientists assume our ancestors could have developed to stride upright, because it supplied a bonus over our four-legged prey. Bipedal movement offers people a singular gait by which the leg swings and the foot acts as a contact to the bottom. But, if the foot have been merely a touchdown pad, its construction would probably be a lot much less complicated. Now Daniel Renjewski of the Technical University of Munich and his colleagues present that the foot is definitely a lever that propels us ahead [1].

When a human foot contacts the bottom, a reactive drive travels up into the leg. Measurements of this drive present that its magnitude peaks twice per stride. Similarly, the purpose at which the foot exerts a most strain on the bottom adjustments twice. However, if the foot have been merely a touchdown pad, there ought to be just one drive peak and one level of most strain.

Using beforehand collected information generated from individuals strolling on a treadmill, the staff derived an equation of movement for the foot that ties forces originating above the foot to torques native to the foot. After an individual’s foot strikes the bottom, the higher physique pushes down on the leg, rising the torque on the ankle and shifting weight towards the toes. This weight shift causes the particular person’s physique to maneuver ahead; the foot stays firmly planted.

The strike of the particular person’s foot and the following shift of weight induce two separate strain peaks on the bottom, as anticipated for fashions that deal with the foot as a lever. Renjewski and colleagues say that their mannequin might assist enhance designs of gait-assistive units and bioinspired robots.

–Rachel Berkowitz

Rachel Berkowitz is a Corresponding Editor for Physics Magazine based mostly in Vancouver, Canada.


  1. D. Renjewski et al., “Foot function enabled by human walking dynamics,” Phys. Rev. E 106, 064405 (2022).

Subject Areas

MechanicsBiological Physics

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